So, I had this great idea a few months ago. I decided to sign myself up to run The Scream Half Marathon. First of all...bad idea trying to race on an 18 hour training week with zero rest and also I was sadly mistaken thinking that a downhill race would be 'easy'. Not only that having an achilles issue since March, probably not the brightest thing to do to myself. Live and learn though, right?
Saturday's race proved to be pretty brutal on my body and I'm pretty certain I won't be doing a crazy run like that again! My body is wrecked!! WRECKED!! That's saying something considering what I put it through on a day to day basis. How the hell can a 13 mile hill do me in? Well, it did!! At 5am Sunday morning, Rich woke me up and asked why I was crying! Hahahaha...crying? In my sleep? He said I was whimpering and moaning and he was concerned. I was out like a light, so didn't even know it, but apparently I was whining and moaning haha! That's how sore I am. My body is not happy with me! ESPECIALLY my glutes, hamstring and quads!!!
Anyway, I had decided to do this race before I signed up for Ironman and even thought Rich wanted me to just do it as a training run, I simply can't run a race just for training. I have to push myself. I knew that I would be going in tired and made sure to get in all of my training sessions last week because my race in Oct is much more important to me than this. That left me pretty tired though and a 4am wake up call is not something I like except on an Ironman race morn. Anyway, I dragged myself out of bed and headed over to my friend Catherine's house. She had pulled her calf muscle so was unable to race but chose to volunteer instead so we could still go together. We made the long drive up into the mountain and it's so beautiful up there. I couldn't help thinking that I am pretty certain that the movie Deliverance was based on that area and I just kept waiting to hear the Banjos ;)
Catherine drove me up the mountain so I didn't have to ride the bus and there we met up with Nicole and Chris. They had done this race before and also Peak to Creek so were trying to fill me in on the what and what NOT to do's. I listened, but for some reason when it's go time my mind forgot everything they told me NOT to do ha!
The first couple of miles were on pavement and rolling. The air was so thick with humidity it was tough to breathe. Thankfully it wasn't too hot though. I started out like I always do (too hard) and on between one and two, I was praying that the downhill would start soon.
We took a right onto the dirt and then it began. Running down and down and down some pretty steep sections at times. I have always been good on downhill in trail runs, but the mileage is much shorter than this. My leg turnover was incredible and I was thankful. Garmin says sometimes it was up to 220spm. This was a good thing...on a downhill! I needed to keep my leg turnover good and settle in. It was going well, really well until around mile 6-7. I started hurting. The jarring, the pounding, the change in run form etc etc. OMG. Things started hurting. I was starting to blow in a different way than blowing from going too hard. My body was blowing. Hit some uphills around mile 8 and 9 and that's when I knew the rest of the race would be a struggle. My hips and glutes were absolutely in knots. Every step started to ache in my hips and rear. OH BOY! I just kept moving though but everything slowed down at that point. Cadence fell, spirit fell. I went in feeling confident and there I was at mile 10 thinking...will I make it????
|3rd in Female 40-44|
After reading several articles last night on downhill running (wish I had done that BEFORE the race), I realized that it's actually very tough. My pace on this race is actually a little slower than my last few long training runs where my heart rate is low. Definitely not a course you want to try and get a PB on unless you are accustomed to this kind of running. I think to make it work on a course like this is mostly about conditioning your body to run the terrain and from what I read, it's pretty dang important. Most people that do well on mountain runs either up or down train the terrain and condition their bodies to it. Nicole and Chris both did well in the race, but they had actually gone up there to train several times on the course before race day. I am stuck with mostly flat running in my training so yes, my body was in shock! BIG TIME SHOCK!
After some pretty amazing barbecue and some cooling off in the river, we headed home. The hurt really set in at about 8 pm Saturday night. Yesterday I woke up and could barely move, but triathlon training waits for no one though and I had a two hour hilly ride to do. It actually didn't hurt so bad, but when I got off the bike....oooooooooh my! It's times like these I wish I did NOT have stairs in my house! All in all, it was a fun race. Got to spend some time with some tri friends and also got to see a beautiful place in NC that I didn't even know existed. I recommend the race if you want a beautiful course and you like going down a mountain. If you do sign up though, do it quick. It sells out fast. Oh and if you do get in...you may want to get a wheelchair for the next couple of days after ;)
Here's a great little video of the fabulous Emelie Forsberg downhilling it like a boss.
Cheers All ~x